Students in bachelor's programs in fashion management or related fields explore business and marketing principles. However, they are also often expected to gain hands-on experience through internships and work-study programs at design houses, fashion retailers, fashion wholesalers and similar industry outlets. Attendees also gain a firm understanding of the latest software and emerging technology in the fashion industry.
A degree in fashion management is ideal for individuals who are interested in the business, retail, and marketing aspects of the fashion industry. Applicant requirements include a high school diploma and ACT or SAT scores.
Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Management
A bachelor's degree program with an emphasis on both fashion and business is typically offered through a university or a college with a set of standard requirements, regardless of major. For this field in particular, a demonstration of work experience or a portfolio may aid admission likelihood. Some community colleges have 2-year fashion merchandising programs that allow students to transfer directly to advanced programs.
The courses in fashion management and marketing degree programs focus on business strategies, principles of management, visual merchandising, and aspects of the fashion industry. Examples of core course subjects are:
- Introduction to fashion industry
- Product planning
- Fashion forecasting
- Consumer behavior
- Managerial accounting
- Principles of marketing
Popular Career Options
Individuals who have graduated from a fashion management bachelor's degree program can go on to work for large fashion design houses or small retail outlets, depending on their preference. Common careers include:
- Fashion retail manager
- Visual merchandising professional
- Fashion marketing executive
- Product buyer, line planner or developer
- Showroom sales associate
- Retail outlet manager
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for purchasing managers are expected to improve by 1% and jobs for buyers and purchasing agents are predicted to increase by 2% between 2014 and 2024.The BLS reported that retail and wholesale buyers earned a mean yearly salary of $59,270 in May 2015, while purchasing managers made an average annual salary of $114,130 the same year (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Options
There are some graduate programs available for students who are interested in developing further knowledge of the fashion management field. Examples include the Master of Science in Fashion Merchandising and the Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. These programs typically last for two years and require students to take advanced courses in research methods and business principles related to the fashion industry. They also often require the completion of either a research paper or a thesis project. Those with a strong background in fashion may wish to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to strengthen their managerial skills.
A bachelor's program in fashion management equips students with knowledge about the fashion industry as well as fundamental skills in marketing and business. Graduates could look into various career choices such as becoming a showroom sales associate, a fashion retail manager or a visual merchandising professional, among other options.